Europe's largest thatched roof crowns island health resort
Following its work creating Europe's largest green facade, Ingenhoven Associates has once again produced a building that showcases impressive sustainability. This time, the firm has topped a large health resort nestled into some dunes on a German island with what it hails as Europe's largest thatched roof.
The Lanserhof Sylt health resort is located on the site of a former German military installation on the isle of Sylt, which dates back to the 1930s. Its overall design is informed by the surrounding dunes, and so as to not overly dominate the landscape. Structurally, it consists of the main building, which is split into three distinct sections, with a single roof covering them, plus there's a renovated officer's accommodation block that was already on the site, as well as some beach houses.
"The rough beauty of the dune landscape on Sylt shapes the design," explained Ingenhoven Associates. "The new Lanserhof is part of this landscape. The previous development of the location made the new possible: The Lanserhof Sylt was built on an area formerly used by the military in the 1930s. In addition to the listed officers' home, it includes the recently completed main building, three beach houses and the diagnostics building. Even from a distance, the new buildings impress with their overhanging thatched roofs. Taken together, they form the largest thatched roof in Europe at 7,100 sq m [roughly 76,400 sq ft]."
Thatching has of course been used as a roofing material for a very long time but this particular example is pretty impressive. It consists of 1,348 wooden rafters made up of approximately 2,000 individual glulam (glued laminated timber) pieces. This wooden structure supports the reed-based thatching, which an Ingenhoven Associates representative told us should last at least 25 years before any significant renovation work is required, though basic maintenance will be carried out. Indeed, the firm reports that there are well-maintained private houses on the island with thatched roofs that have endured for over a hundred years. In addition to its use of thatch and glulam, the building also makes use of oak for the facade and floor, and recycled aluminum.
The interior of the health resort's main building contains a series of facilities on the ground floor, including a medical spa, clinic, treatment area, reception and a restaurant. The basement hosts fitness facilities. A large feature staircase connects the lower levels with the upper two floors, which contain 55 guest rooms with loggias providing views of the scenery while sheltering guests from the wind. The decor is tasteful and daylight permeates within thanks to the generous glazing.
During the build process, 28 cubic meters (988 cubic ft) of local plants were stored and replanted and the surrounding landscape was also restored.
Source: Ingenhoven Associates